Friday August 3rd – Sunday Aug 5th.
Posted: 06/08/2018 23:02
Friday: Low cloud, rain at times sometimes heavy with thunder meant that the gliders stayed in the hangars all day. Thankfully a rare event in recent times but at least it was a chance for staff and the hardy individuals on site to catch up with outstanding jobs.
Saturday: A bright start to the day promised some good soaring but it was slow to get going and a number of pundit private owners decided it was not going to be worth rigging. Wrong! In fact the afternoon was quite good and those that got the weather right were rewarded with several hours of reasonable thermals, Cu base rising to about 4500ft asl. Of these Rob Bailey was the only one to record a ladder claim with a flight of 230km round TP's in East and North Yorkshire in his flight of just under 4 hours. Other private owners to fly included Duncan Pask with over two hours extended local. Les Rayment flew for three hours getting used to his new toy (JK) although the glider either has no flarm or it is in stealth mode as there was no trace to be found on the glidernet website. Ben Dawson also flew his Standard Cirrus on a shorter flight.
It was not all private owners though and Astir DPO ( the only glass single available ) earned its keep with three soaring flights during the afternoon. Two of these were flown by Andre Feldman who has just about claimed ownership of this machine during his stay with us. The other pilot of DPO was Tim Poulson who flew for over an hour. Martyn Johnson flew a majority of the instructional flights on this day aided and abetted by several more members who heroically gave up opportunities to go soaring in their own machines. A total of 15 flights in 2-seaters DG500, DG1000, and K21 resulted.
Sunday: Another promising sky which delivered good soaring conditions for much of the day. This time the pundits got it right and a fleet of private owners lined up for aerotows once the thermals became established. Of the pilots who went x/c four entered claims on the ladder. Top of the entries was Rob Bailey with a 300km flight up and down the A1 visiting Doncaster twice and Ripon. Both Darren Lodge and Martyn Johnson did Pontefract out and return and if it was a race Darren won completing the task in four minutes less than Martyn. The intrepid Steve Thompson in his Discus completed 3 legs of his task but gave up on his way to Masham as the thermals switched off late in the afternoon. He notched up 175km. With no other entries on the ladder a bit of detective work on the web suggested that Nick Gaunt had turned Pocklington and somewhere north of Sutton Bank in his flight of 2.5 hours. This after a very short flight in the Ka8 which presumably persuaded him that a quick rig of his LS7 was a better bet. However Chris Booker with almost an hour in the same glider and Andy Hatfield late in the afternoon restored the honour and reputation of this venerable machine. Further examination of web traces indicated that Ron Beezer had flown O & R to Burn in the syndicate Nimbus and Bill Payton and passenger in the DG1000T had visited Goole and the Bedale area. The longest x/c flight of the day was by David Latimer in his Ventus. I have failed to discover where he went but assume that it must have been >300km.
Yet again the club's Astir was busy with six flights, two flown by Andre Feldman ( no surprise there then!) and three with Nora V G at the controls.
In the midst of all this x/c excitement the clubs workhorses ( 2-seaters and instructors) continued to provide instruction and make further inroads into the ever growing list of aspirants to try this great sport of gliding. Without exception first flight passengers arrive back on the ground with broad smiles and words of appreciation for the club and their pilot. Its sad and a mystery why so few of them go on to take up the sport. This is something the gliding movement has to get to grips with to stop the decline in gliding membership in the UK and other countries. On the plus side YGC can point to steady membership numbers with new members at least replacing those who drop out each year.